Welcome Back to the Marketing Strategy Show. In this episode Thomas Moin (Senior Channel Account Executive and a founding member of the HubSpot APAC office – an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps businesses track leads and follow up on customers) will join Kym.
Thomas Moin has worked in sales his whole career and started out working for Small IT integrated organisations to IT managers and following that Thomas sold hosting to tech companies and offering to host companies’ platforms on their infrastructure.
Following these jobs Thomas along with four others started Hubspot a CRM (customer relationship management) system. In the three years since its formation Hubspot has grown to about 100 people in 3 different countries.
One of the biggest challenges for Thomas and Hubspot during their early days was sifting through the influx of leads and making sure they are spending their time efficiently and on the right leads.
Thomas views Customer Relationship Management as it allows him to manage his business relationships and prioritise his time so he knows who to talk to and when to talk to them from prospecting all the way through to closing or bringing on the prospect as a customer.
Thomas likes to focus on this aspect of the CRM as it is his role to bring in new business however, others within Hubspot also use the tool to manage and nuture existing relationships as well as to know when to reach out for contract renewals as an existing customer.
Thomas has been lucky enough to always have a CRM in each organisation that he has worked in. However, he does recall in his first role there was a very basic CRM system in place, an “advanced excel spreadsheet”.
And many business may start this way. An excel spreadsheet with a list of all contacts and a comment beside each contact re the status of the relationship.
The issue with using a spreadsheet as a permanent resource has issues as it can get cluttered very quickly and it might be good for your status of the business but how do you manage that going forward for years.
Or if there is a turnover in staff how does a new hire easily familiarise themselves with a cluttered spreadsheet bursting with important information. It is important to use a simple CRM system as it is highly unlikely that you will have the same staff for the entirety of the business.
With a proper CRM you can avoid a lot of the hassles of employee turnover by having all your customer relationship information digitized and transcribed for easy access and searching.
One of the biggest challenges when implementing your CRM is getting the salespeople to actually use it. As Thomas describes it “A CRM is only as good as the information it has in it” and getting the staff to transcribe the information is one of the biggest challenges.
In Thomas’ opinion if the CRM isn’t culturally adopted from the beginning / not driven from the top down the salespeople just wont use the CRM and will fall back into their own system which just wastes the investment into the CRM.
When building Hubspot Thomas and his gang noted that CRM’s have been traditionally designed for sales management and not to the sales person. We are at a point currently where you can automatically pull all those interactions into that one spot and that’s the approach Hubspot has taken.
So you don’t have to click, log a call, paste in your call notes and then summarise everything. Hubspot simply pulls in your email transcript and puts it on that contact record, the same can be done for your calendar.
Hubspot (among other CRM’s) has now reached the point where you can make calls within the CRM and it will be recorded as a transcript you can view later.
The prospect of being able to access all your information on leads and all the material on ongoing deals and prospects is one of the biggest motivators pushing companies towards using CRM’s today.
Thomas’ expression “sales is what happens between meetings”.
One of the biggest things Kym has noticed with Hubspot is defining your sales process is of vital importance.
Whether your process starts with an idea, which snowballs into a lead, then you’d contact the prospect, then you’d potentially have a meeting, then you’d formulate a proposal and then it becomes a yes / no future prospect.
This is a process and by having this clearly outlined and transcribed you can give this process to any new or returning staff to make sure everyone is using the same process.
One thing using a CRM allows you to do is use the system to organise / filter your contacts by area so say for example if you were in Melbourne for a particular meeting you would be able to pull up all of your other contacts from the same area and arrange meetings or catch-ups with any contacts in the surrounding area.
Manual data entry has been the downfall of basic CRMs because that leads to human error and laziness and in general sales people tend to hate entering that kind of data.
However technological advances in terms of CRMs are allowing these menial data entry tasks to be avoided. Things like bcc codes so if you are using a certain bcc email address, that will automatically copy any correspondence between you and that email into your CRM with full transcripts.
In this ‘doing’ episode we will be discussing the importance of closely linking your marketing activity and sales activity in nurturing your prospects as well as looking closely at CRM Systems (Customer Relationship Management System) and their importance today.
Top 3 mistakes when using CRM
One of the biggest mistakes Thomas Moin sees in terms of CRMs is people not actually entering their sales data. The CRM system is only as good as the information people are putting into it.
Confusing a database with a CRM. A database is a static document or spreadsheet containing all the data regarding your customers. Whereas a CRM is a moving, evolving system containing contact info, sales information and details on where all customers and prospects are in their sales journey.
- A lot of people will typically make a purchase of a CRM thinking that it will be an instant solution to all your sales woes and they tend to forget to make sure the sales people know how to use the system and are properly logging the necessary information.
- Cultural adoption; making sure all staff know that the CRM is where they report from, where they forecast from, where all information is stored and just to make sure that the sales staff use it as a single source of truth
- Management; implementing the CRM with thorough explanations to sales staff not driving it into the sales people
Hubspot has flipped the rule book of sales processes on its head as at Hubspot, they tend to talk to the sales person first and the approach is much more of a seed and grow approach, which is where you talk to a sales person who may be struggling and offer them the CRM to automate some of their emails or to simplify the process of arranging a meeting.
Then typically if the sales person starts using it and having success with it the person next to them will ask “hey, what’s that?” then you end up with this seed and grow approach and the users start to take off.
This approach has worked well for Hubspot in the past but at the same time there are going to be more established organisations where you need to start at the sales director or even in some cases the CEO.
From Kym’s point of view offering a potential client the free version of Hubspot first with some of the functionality of the full paid version as a sort of trial. So, getting in there and setting it up as well as getting the potential client using the CRM before spending a whole lot of money on developing it and rolling it out would be a wise idea.
Thomas says Hubspot is usually happy to help with the first set up even on the free version. Usually what he would say is “okay you’ve started with the free version of the CRM, do you have a list of contacts that we can load up. Then the first step depending on what information you have loaded in that CSV, start creating a couple of views which is essentially like filtered lists on the criteria might make.
A quick example might be setting a different view for people in Canberra, people in Melbourne or people in Queensland.
One example of Hubspots CRM massively improving and helping grow a company is Shopify a US based e-commerce platform.
A great example of Hubspot helping a company implement their CRM is with Studio Proper. This was impressive on the sales side because they managed to cut their sales cycling in half and increase their revenue by 35%. This was mostly due to the fact that the CRM saved the salespeople 50 hours per quarter, so it saves peoples time.
Another example is with the Australian Training Colleges, where Tennille who is the marketing manager she helped them create over 400 email templates as Hubspot found that most of the emails were the same base and making these templates simplifies the process and saves time.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Marketing Strategy Show, don’t forget to check out Thomas Moin on any of his social channels (Twitter @thomas_moin
or on Linkedin; https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasmoin/ .
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